Warning: Mpreg, slash and language
Chapter one: Positively Positive
It starts on a rug,
Before a roaring fire,
On a winter's afternoon…
The last of the snow is vanishing from the streets though it's still cold and there is a chance of more snowfall but for now its clear skies. It's the weekend, he should be enjoying it with Will and Gwen but he is making his way through the streets. It's a long walk from his house; his mother never shops at Good to Go. She doesn't trust Cedric (the stores odd and slightly shifty owner), doesn't trust the too quiet neighborhood or the strange things in the shop. He likes to try and sell people things they don't need, things no one in their right mind needs. But it's the only place he can go without his mother knowing or anyone seeing him.
Everyone loves to gossips in Camelot. Everyone knew about the time he fainted at the doctor's. It was forgotten by week's end though; apparently Chelsea Aims dumped her boyfriend Scott Wyatt for cheating on her with Vivian Swan (the school's head Cheerleader.) It was probably never true but it was enough to make a scene. It was more exciting then 'Merlin fainted at the doctor's'.
It's amazing how they miss the really big things. Like when Will got arrested for shop lifting, but no one really knows Will (no one really knew Merlin either) so they didn't care. Merlin just somehow had been seen enough to spend a few days in the spotlight. But it was one time and one time only. If only they knew what happened six weeks ago. He'd still be talked about. It was better this way though; he could push that night, those months, into the back of mind.
He hasn't seen him since that night though. He went away after that, to his holiday house for Christmas to spend it with family. He got back last Monday, apparently, so why didn't he let Merlin know? The brightly and badly painted Good to Go store appeared up ahead, the rusty old seats still stacked on top of the wonky tables. He squinted his eyes as the sun beamed bright of the orange paint, he blindly pushed the dirty glass door open.
The shop is dimly lit inside. Black curtains are draped over the doors so the sun doesn't come in. The floor is grimy and marked by shoes, mostly Cedric's. There are two middle aisles, where he wants to go is furthest from the door. Passed the counter, where Cedric is sitting, with his feet propped up on the counter and an out-of-date newspaper in his hands. Candles and incense burn beside his feet, the shop smells stuffy with a hint of cinnamon.
He walks as quietly as he can towards the far side of the store, passed the bread stand and food aisles and to the aisle that has random items people might need in a hurry. This is also where the 'who the hell would buy that' items are. He doesn't look at the useless junk today; he is scanning the shelves frantically for what he needs. He reaches for a blue box, labeled 'you are one of a few.' Yeah he was one of a few and he would have liked the information before…
"Back again, Merlin."
Merlin almost drops the box, his hands trembling and his heart pounding. He peeks around the corner to see that the chair is empty, Cedric's paper abandoned on the counter top. He shakes his head and turns back to face the shelf, nearly jumping out of his skin when he sees Cedric beside him. God this guy gets around fast.
"Oh I see what's happened here" he fiddles with his small goatee and leans sluggishly against the shelf "you could probably sell it on Ebay."
Merlin looks at him with utter disgust but he quickly hides it "sell what?"
He chuckles dryly and tapes the box in Merlin's still trembling hands "Second or third one?"
Merlin scowls "I'm not…" he trails off, feeling bile sting his throat. He turns his head away and empties his breakfast onto the scratched floorboards. He wipes his mouth with the back of sleeve and stands up again, wrapping his too-thin arms around himself protectively.
"Oh, that happens" Cedric smiles and walks towards the freezer and collects the mop and bucket that were leaning against the icy glass doors. "Go pee on the stick Merlin" he said walking passed him, patting him on the shoulder.
The bathroom is terrible. The mirror hung over the chipped and grimy basin is a mass of spiral cracks, any moment it could shatter into thousands of pieces. The walls and doors are covered with graffiti. He can see hearts, stars, crosses, names and names and a stick figuring pointing a gun at their head. This is unnerving. He looks away from the drawing and down at the stick that is held by two unsteady hands. The countdown begins.
Cedric is waiting for him when he returns. Merlin is a lot calmer then he thought he would be. Then again, this is the second time, the first time he nearly fainted. He convinced himself it was wrong once he had composed himself. This proved it was right and he was wrong. He leant heavily against the counter, Cedric blow out a pink bubble then popped it, it echoed loudly in the near silent store. He rocked back on the chair, looking relaxed and at ease.
"Well?" he asked popping the gum again "is you or isn't you?"
Merlin looked down at the test, a plus sign. Yes, yes he was.
"Ok, you don't have to talk" he had his arms folded now, his head turned slightly to the left.
Merlin fished out his wallet and chucked a bill onto the counter and the stick. If he walked away maybe it wouldn't be real.
"Don't leave that pee stick here" Cedric said, eyeing it with disgust. Had he looked at the shop? "I don't want people thinking it's me."
Merlin narrowed his eyes at the older man and snatched up the test, "I'll tell my rapist to wear a condom next time."
It's a shorter walk to Gwen's then it is to home. He doesn't want to go home right now; he doesn't want to see how his mother struggles to support them both yet is always with a smile. Gwen's place is a second home to him. She is his sister in many ways; she was the first person he met after moving to Camelot. She is the only person he feels like seeing at the moment, he will be able to tell her and know she will keep it a secret. But it won't stay that way forever; this secret will be known as sure as the summer will come.
Now it's still cold. The sun is leaving for the day and taking its warmth with it, leaving behind a bitter chill. Merlin wraps his arms around himself and quickens his pace. It's another block to Gwen's; she lives at the end of Daisy Avenue. It's a house everyone can spot; even if they aren't looking for it. Most of the houses in this street are old and in need of repainting or fixing or both. They all seem to look the same, old and boring, each made of limestone and almost hidden beneath vines and tall trees. Only three of them look different and only five of the limestone houses look nice. The rest are either empty or uncared for.
Gwen's street is off a cross road. They used to stand in the middle and make wishes, until someone told them that you make deals not wishes and to make a deal means you have to give up your soul. They never did that again. But as Merlin stands dead center, Marvel Street behind him, Daisy Avenue before him and Little Creek road to the left and right, he thinks that selling his soul wouldn't be so bad. A black SUV speeding towards him tears him from his thoughts and he scrambles out of the way just in time.
He knows that car, its Arthur's, it has the Pendragon Crest on the license plate. He is back. He wavers on the edge of curve; it's only a short walk to Little Creek, one of the main hang out places. He should bring Gwen; make it like he had planned to go there. He actually hated it though, the water was always too cold and the rocks were sharp and he and Will had cut themselves countless times. But Gwen liked it there.
Gwen is watching 'Just like Heaven' for what must be the 20th time when he arrives. She jumps up and greets him at the door, her hair is messy and she is wearing track pants and a pale pink blouse. He wants to tell her right now but it can wait, he needs to see Arthur first. Just to make it feel real. He waits on the sofa, staring at the frozen scene as Gwen hunts down her jeans and a sweater.
They leave the house five minutes later. They share small talk, Gwen reminds Merlin that it's his turn to host a movie night; she tells him she brought a new top, something purple with crisscrossed straps. He nods and smiles, stuffs his cold hands into his pockets and lets Gwen loop her arm through his. The fall silent as the sound of laughter and splashing water drifts towards them. He can hear Arthur's voice; he can hear Arthur's voice in his sleep.
They sit in the shade on an old red checkered rug. Gwen passes him a coke that she grabbed from the fridge before they left. He takes it but places it down unopened beside him. It's nice to sit down after his long walk. It's cool and serene here, though he has said he hates it. Maybe it's just the sharp rocks and icy water he hates, it's nice here. Looking down at the clear creek and watching, searching for Arthur.
He can't see him at the moment, but they will have to walk pass to get back to their car. He just needs to look at him, to see that hidden love he has for him. Six weeks is a long time, six weeks and only maybe two week's worth of texting in the space of four weeks. He said he was just busy and the texts grew shorter and further apart. Six weeks can change a lot. But so can one moment, one perfect moment and one not so right choice.
Not that he knew he was 'one of a few.' But even if he had, well he didn't think it would have stopped him from doing it. It was every girls dream at Knight's High to be with Arthur Pendragon; of course he was only at campus every now and then. He was twenty and came to Knight High to co-coach the football team. He was twenty and Merlin would be eighteen in five months. What would people say?
Amazingly no one seemed to notice but maybe they just chose not to notice. If you don't believe something is real, then it isn't. So everyone blindly ignored the looks Arthur gave Merlin while visiting the school. People pretended that Arthur was at home sick rather than spending time with Merlin Emrys, at his house. He never thought he would have liked Arthur so much, he was a perfect prat the first day he met him.
"Are you ok Merlin?"
Merlin snapped out of his reverie and turned to face his friend, her burrow furrowed in concern. "I am…" he picked at the corner of the rug, pulling at the loose strands of cotton. "But there is something I have to tell you" he added with a weary sigh.
"Is it bad?" she reached out to him, her soft hand wrapping around his. "I'm here for you Merlin, you can tell me anything."
Merlin smiled and placed his free hand on top of Gwen's. He cast a forlorn look towards the creek, he could still hear them laughing but Arthur was unseen. They wouldn't hear him from here. He turned back and smiled softly at Gwen. Some of her worry waned. "Gwen."
"Yes" her breathing hitched and she tightened her grip on Merlin's hand.
"I'm…" something caught his eye, a flash of colour then he was watching Arthur walk by. His hair was damp and plastered to his face, the sun light glistened in those damp locks and his crystal blue eyes were as bright as the sky. He was smiling broadly, looking down at a sandy blonde haired girl that had her arm wrapped around his waist. She pressed a quick kiss to his cheek and he laughed, his thick rich laugh. He looked past her, those endless blue eyes looking from Gwen to him. He quickly averted his eyes and Merlin's heart fell, landing in the pit of stomach and shattering to pieces.
He looked down, blinking away the tears and trying to calm his racing heart. He felt Gwen touching him, her soft voice calling to him from afar. He snapped out of the spell and looked up at his best friend. "I gotta go." He jumped to his feet; he seemed heavier, like his shattered heart weighed him down. She rose after him, reaching for him but he pulled away and broke into a run.
Night found him at his Godfather's house. It was cold and silent here, the street dimly lit by the lampposts. He knocked numbly at the door as he peered in through the window; Gaius was getting out of his lounge chair, looking bothered. Merlin tried to rearrange his features into a more composed and less miserable expression. The heavy door slid open and Gaius squinted at his Godson. Merlin smiled and waved halfheartedly.
"What's wrong?" he asked, stepping back to allow the young man to enter.
"Can we sit down and talk?" he asked, shrugging his shoulders in a feeble attempt to look casual.
"Of course" he said with a warm smile and Merlin felt slightly more at ease.
They sat down at the kitchen table, a steaming cup of tea before them and the dim lights above them. Merlin fiddled with his spoon, staring down into the brown liquid like it would help him say those two words. He could feel Gaius's eyes burning into him, his concern thick in the cool air.
"What's going on Merlin?" he asked softly, very softly.
Merlin dropped the spoon, its soft ting too loud for the almost silent night. "I'm…" he paused chewing the inside of his lip.
"You're what Merlin?" he pressed when he didn't continue, a hint of panic in his voice.
Merlin looked up taking a deep breath "I'm pregnant."
Gaius dropped his biscuit into his tea and his mouth fell open in shock. "You can't be."
Merlin shrugged, a weak smile tugging at his lips. "I am one in a few."
"Oh Merlin" Gaius fished out his soggy biscuit and discarded it on the soccer. "What are you going to do?"
He shrugged again, the smile fading "I don't know."
"Who… who did this happen with?"
Merlin looked down, his eyes brimmed with tears. "Arthur."
"As in" he raised his thin gray eyebrow "Arthur Pendragon?"
"Of course" he said weakly.
His Godfather sighed wearily. "Does he know?"
"No" he muttered bleakly. "Only you do."
"Well you need to go home and tell your mother Merlin, then Arthur" he added hesitantly.
Merlin picked up the spoon and stirred his tea absentmindedly. "I don't want to tell him."
"He has a right to know."
"So?" Merlin dropped the spoon and rose to his feet "I gotta get home."
"How far along are you?" he asked like Merlin hadn't stood, ready to leave.
"I guess six weeks" he muttered, thinking of those soft kisses and endless caresses. Thinking of the happiness that faded when Arthur looked away, shattering his heart beyond repair. Arthur didn't want him, why would he? He was a Pendragon and Merlin was just Merlin. He had to erase the memories of him, starting by getting rid of the thing that was a part of him. "I'm gonna get rid of it."
"Merlin" Gaius shot to his feet, appalled "that is not a choice to make lightly. It needs to be disgust between you and Arthur."
"Well Arthur certainly doesn't care about me" he spun on his heel, heading to the door with Gaius in toe.
"Merlin" he had surprising strength for an old man, his grip was firm and demanding. "At least go home and tell your mother."
"Promise me Merlin." He said firmly.
Merlin turned in a slow circle to face his Godfather "I promise."
Gwen is at his house when he gets home. She has a composed look until they are alone in his bedroom. She looks desperate now, her eyes almost shinning with tears and her mouth set in a thin line. He sits down, his legs are sore, he feels tired, so tired. She paces in front of him, her arms folded and her head held high, slightly tilted heaven-ward, like there was an answer written on the ceiling. He should tell her but he has a feeling she's already figured it out and wants to confirm her theory with him, she just has to find the right words.
She stops and takes a seat beside him, her hands folded in her lap and the pale pink nail polish shins in the dim light. She looks at him levelly and takes a deep breath. "Are you" she hesitates. Twisting her hands together nervously but keeping her eyes glued to his. "Merlin, are you pregnant?"
"Yes" he replied promptly.
"Oh my God." She breathed, her hands covering her mouth "Oh my God."
Merlin laughed at this. He wasn't sure why but her frantic 'oh my God' reminded him of her and Morgana gushing about cute boys and/or the latest gossip to rock Knight's High. And it felt so good to laugh, to laugh about this like it was a joke. He knows it not, it's very serious indeed, but for a brief moment he will laugh about it, because it's better than falling apart. Gwen must sense this to, because she joins in, he can still see the seriousness in her brown eyes but the smile is there.
It comes to an end though, like all good things. And they are left in a strange silence that isn't so silent. The air is filled with those unasked questions and each answer is already balancing on the tip of his tongue. But she doesn't ask, instead he is pulled into a loving embrace. But when it's over the questions come, half whispered so his mother won't hear. He answers all them, telling her everything. When all is said they are both lying down, the bed soft and warm against their backs.
"Are you going to keep it?" is the last question that pierces the night air.
"I don't know" he chewed at the inside of his lip, his fingers drumming against his sides "should I?"
"That's not something I can tell you" she said, a tinge of sorrow to her words.
"I have to tell my mother" he whispered.
"I will be there, if you want me to be?"
Merlin smiled and rolled onto his side, he could feel sleep crashing in. "In the morning?"
Gwen mirrored his smile "In the morning."
Morning comes too fast. The night isn't long enough; the darkness disappearing too early, the morning sickness is getting worse. Gwen is rubbing soothing circles on his back as he heaves into the bowl, feeling weaker by the second. When he has nothing left he collapsed against Gwen who pressed a class of water to his quivering lips. The taste lingers long after he has rinsed his mouth and scrubbed his teeth clean. The tea he drinks is minty from the toothpaste and his mother watches him cautiously from behind the breakfast bar.
She has a shift tonight at the hospital. She works long hours and is hardly home anymore, she insists on sending him to Knight's High though. Guilt laces around him, she has always done right by him and in return he does this. True, he didn't know it could happen to him but he has to burden her with it. Gwen sends him a quick glance as Hunith places the saucepan in the center of the table, the smell of porridge a welcome aroma in the morning air.
"You don't look very well sweetheart" she said, pulling out a chair and taking a seat beside him, dishing out the porridge.
"I'm fine" he said only to receive a swift kick from Gwen. "Actually, I have something to tell you."
"What is it love?" she asked, dishing out Gwen's breakfast.
He took a mouthful, knowing he probably wouldn't be feeling very hunger after he said this. "I'm pregnant."
His mother dropped the spoon and the saucepan shook in her hand "what?"
Merlin looked downcast, feeling the guilt weigh him down. "I'm sorry."
She reached out to him, her soft hand resting on his "oh Merlin."
He looked up; entwining his fingers with hers. "I don't know what to do."
His mother chewed at her lip, something she only did when she was having a break down or making a life changing decision. "What do you think is best?"
Merlin's lips stretched into a thin line. "I don't know."
She smiled softly at him "Who is the father, you should talk to him about this. It might make your decision easier."
"The father is Arthur Pendragon" he muttered, pulling away "and I was just his yearly experiment."
"Merlin, don't think that." Gwen snapped suddenly "I saw the way he looked at you, he truly cared for you."
"Well maybe he did" he shrugged on his jacket "but now he doesn't." His backpack is heavy but he heaves it up and slings it over one shoulder. "If I get rid of it, he won't ever have to know and I can just forget about him."
Before his mother or Gwen could say anything further he departed, on a beeline to the front door. It's cold outside, the winter morning air the best way to still the nausea. He made his way swiftly to the front gate. He was half way down the block when Gwen came running up behind him, looking slightly out of breath. She fell into step beside him, looking younger in her school uniform.
When he looked at her closely he could see the traces of anger in her eyes. He let out a long sigh, stuffed his hands into his jacket pockets and tried to find a way to tell Gwen why he was going to do this. He was going to do this right? He could forget all about Arthur Pendragon, he'd finish school and go off to Ireland, where he would study journalism and spend the weekends painting. If he had a baby he could kiss good-bye to being a famous journalist, to his dreams.
But what if this happened for a reason? What if he was meant to have this child? What if he or she could bring him more happiness then his ambitions and dreams? He didn't think he could find happier days then those he shared with Arthur. He'd been in bliss, always with a smile, even when caught in a mild snow storm. He was happy because he would find himself in Arthur's warm embrace at day's end. He was happy because he would share stolen kisses with him when no one was looking. He was happy because it felt like Arthur was the piece that had been missing from his life.
Merlin was pulled back from memory lane by the sound of Will's voice. He looked up and saw him waving cheerfully at them. He was dressed in jeans, a white t-shirt with the schools jacket and tie the only thing saying he belonged at Knight's High. Mrs. Harvey would not be impressed by this, not that Will cared, he lived to torment that woman.
"Are we telling Will?" Gwen whispered before he was in earshot.
"No." he said quickly "I rather he didn't know. He hates Arthur enough already."
"That he does" she murmured before running to him and embracing him a quick hug. "Hey, so Merlin and I were just talking and we need to have a movie night this weekend."
"That we do." He said with his usual board smile "Merlin, it is your turn to play host."
He tried to mirror the smile. "And I shall" he bowed.
"Excellent." Gwen clapped her hands together "time to get a move on people. School's a waiting."
"We won't learn anything" Will complained as they continued to walk "and Pendragon is coming in today."
"How do you know that?" Merlin asked, quickly, too quickly.
Will frowns at him. "I wish you weren't dating that prat, he will only hurt you."
"We're not dating!" Merlin declared somberly "…anymore."
"Right, well, that's good." There was a flicker of sorrow for his best friend "because his ex wants him back and Sophia Lightwood gets what she wants, when she wants."
Merlin felt his heart thud loudly in his chest. The girl Arthur was with yesterday, that was Sophia, he knew she looked familiar; they shared a math's class. Looks like she had gotten what she wanted, regardless to anyone else, regardless to the love between Arthur and Merlin.
School can sometimes be the worst thing in your life. There are days that are bearable, just, but then there are days when all Merlin wants to do is go home and hide under his covers and pretend he doesn't exist. He's not sure why he has been labeled a freak, maybe it's his too thin frame or his large ears or his ability to fall and stumble over his own feet. Either way, people looked at him for all the wrong reasons. He could see the looks he got; they viewed him as a freak and surely by now Arthur had returned to viewing him the same way. If Sophia Lightwood got her way she'd have him latched onto her arm by week's end.
He shifted nervously as he stacked a few books into his locker, he could hear the buzz around him, feel the many bodies coming and going. He shut his locker with a loud thud and a few people gave him a strange look. He stormed off. If Arthur walked into this school at this very moment and kissed him they would never look at him the same. They would respect him; treat him right rather than the poor kid who didn't belong here.
Will bumped into him, smiling at him but there was a flicker of concern in his green eyes. He ignored it and smiled back and approached Gwen and Morgana. Morgana was Uther Pendragon's adopted daughter. She had lived with them since she was seven but no matter how many years she spent with them she didn't change. She was sweet and caring but she had a spine. No one bothered Morgana unless they wanted a black eye or broken nose.
It had actually happened once. When you looked at her, hair and make-up done, dressed in a mini skirt, leather boots and a white blouse, smiling at everyone, you'd never pin her for the type who'd kick you down. But she could and she would. But she was Gwen's best friend, her status didn't matter, she was Gwen's friend and that was that. She wouldn't end their friendship because Uther thought it was a waste of time talking to those who were less fortunate.
"Morning Merlin, Will" she greeted them with a bright smile. "Did you two have a good weekend?"
"Oh, you bet." Will said, winking at her and moving closer "what are you doing tonight baby?"
She laughed playfully at him "sorry Will, but I am spoken for."
"What?" Gwen exclaimed "when did this happen?"
As Morgana lurched into a story of how she met 'Mr. Right' at the mountains over the Christmas holiday Merlin surveyed the hallway, watching the nameless faces walk by. Then there was the one he knew: Arthur Pendragon, appearing in the crowd with Sophia Lightwood, Vivian Swan and Damon Welsh. Damon looked dark and dangerous as usual, Vivian was all smiles, Arthur was tall and strong and Sophia was proud and beautiful at his side. Merlin felt the dull ache of a broken heart throb deep in his chest.
Will was right.
Sophia had gotten what she wanted.
Arthur was back at her side and all hers…
To Be Continued
I have 8 chapters written but the story is still in progress so I will post a chapter every week. (I'm my toughest critic so I take quite some time to finish chapters.) I love to know what everyone thinks of the story so far =) reviews are love 3